No quota for sub-sects in minority community: HCtext_fields
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday held that a minority community education institution had no right to categories its beneficiaries into different sects within the community and allocate the community seats reserved for candidates belonging to these different sects within the community.
The Bench comprising Justice K. Surendra Mohan and Justice Shircy V. made the ruling while dismissing petitions filed by Karuna Medical College and Travancore Medical College, two self-financing colleges, challenging the government decision to rescind the seat matrix for the Muslim quota fixed by the college authorities.
The court held that minority right under Article 30(1) of the Constitution would not entitle the minority community to categorise its beneficiaries into different groups within the community itself and admit students from such categories to seats reserved for the community.
As for the community seats in Travancore Medical College, 10 seats were set apart for Sunni Muslims, 20 seats for Muslim Shafi Mad-hab, 10 seats for members of Muslim Hanafi Mad-hab, 10 seats for members of Muslim Mujaahid Jama-ath and 10 seats for members of Muslim Jama-ath Islami.
The government, however, did not approve these seat matrix and went ahead with allocation of seats as per its own seat matrix without categorisation of the community. Likewise, the Karuna Medical College management also allocated seats in terms of subsects in the Muslim community.
Government Pleader V. Manu contended that the right under Article 30(1) of the Constitution was available only to minority community alone. Community that is designated as such was the community of Muslims in general. No sub classification within the general category was acceptable.
Dismissing the petitions, the Bench observed that the source from which a minority educational institution was permitted to choose its students was the minority community. No sub division or subsect within such community could claim a distinct and separate right. The categorisation within the community itself would give the institution freedom to exclude more meritorious candidates of the minority community and choose less meritorious ones, which was not permissible.
The court declared that the community certificate in the case of communities shall be accepted only if they were issued by the competent revenue officials. However, such certificates could be supported by certificates issued by the religious functionaries, if necessary.